Intuitive Eating Update

It’s been just under three weeks that I have been eating intuitively.

To be honest, I think what I’m doing is more of a combination of intuitive eating/healthy eating/mindful eating.

I’m not “totally going for it” as the intuitive eating books tell you. I think that is aimed more at people who have been dieting and have been depriving themselves. I don’t think I fall into that category as I am someone who has been eating healthy, but does not deprive myself and does have small treats every day.

At this point, I prefer to look at what I’m doing as just doing what I was doing before – eating healthily, but I’ve dropped the weighing/measuring my portions and counting calories. I prefer to err on the side of serving myself a little less, knowing that if I get hungry a little later, I can always eat more.

These past weeks have been freeing and empowering. If you told me six months or a year ago, even being binge-free at that time, I could let go of the these other controlling behaviors I would have said – no way! But through therapy, reading and blogging, (and perhaps the estrogen supplement?) I found myself in a really good place, a place where I trusted by myself and my body to do the right thing as far as food goes.

I do try to honor my hunger and stop when I’m feeling full. However, I sometimes don’t wait until I’m hungry to have my dessert after dinner. But guess what – that is normal and it’s OK!

It is so amazing to go out to eat, not write down what I’m eating while at the restaurant, tally calories as I’m going along, and then come home to immediately look up the foods I didn’t know the calories of and calculate everything.

In fact, the tallying that I’ve been doing in my head is slowly stopping too. Who would’ve thunk it? I thought the not knowing was going to kill me, but it’s not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, it is FREEING!!!

I think it’s going to take a few months of this to truly see how it’s going, to see if this intuitive trust in myself that I now have will keep me maintaining my current weight, give or take a few pounds. The reason I say this is because in the past when yo-yoing, I have been “good” for a while and then started bingeing/compulsive overeating again and it took weeks before the weight came on. At first I thought – sweet! – I can binge and no weight is coming on! But then of course, the weight caught up with the eating and the pounds surged right back on. So I think I need to give my body time to adjust to these new changes I’ve made to really see how it effects my weight.

Tomorrow or Saturday I will do my monthly weigh-in. Aunt Flow made an unexpected visit earlier this week, so I will wait till she is gone for two days so I can get a more accurate reading. My clothing all feels pretty much the same, but I still feel like I just want to touch base to make sure I’m on track.

Another change I’ve made is that I no longer frame foods as being forbidden. While I’m not actively seeking out junk, I let myself have it when we are out and I eat it with no regret. Because I’m framing it in that manner, I don’t feel a need to binge. I feel *gasp* “normal.”

I still go with a big salad for a dinner whenever we got out. My reasons are two-fold — 1) I am embarrassed to admit that I really don’t like many vegetables, but over the years I have come to really like lettuce and baby spinach, so eating it 3-5 days a week is my way of getting a good intake of vegetables. 2) I love how I can order the salad exactly how I want it (with the dressing on the side) and can feel free to devour the entire plate. I have yet to try ordering “regular” food, eating a portion and leaving the rest. I do hope to get to that point some day.

We went out to dinner a few times during the past few weeks since we’ve been back from DC. I have had small pieces of bread and bits of appetizers, thing I would not allow myself in the past. They were forbidden and could cause me to eat too much. How freeing to know I have allowed myself to have them and just have a bite or two if I am hungry.

So I have put away my measuring cups and measuring spoons. So far, I do not miss them. It is still a little shocking to me.

Grabbing a bite of something my kids didn’t finish, and things along those lines, now feel normal to me instead of me thinking of it as being disordered.

Overall, so much of my thoughts/framing has changed and it has made such a big difference. It feels great to trust my self and my body after so many years of needing that white-knuckle control over everything relating to food.

Still, I’m taking this all one day at a time. I feel really good about it so far, but it’s such a far cry from what I’m used to, I need to remember to take it slow.

Have you ever changed your thoughts so much about something that it ended up changing your life?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

40 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Karen @ Waisting Time
    15 April 2010, 7:03 pm

    You are doing so well! I enjoy reading how comfortable you are with food now. And how good you feel. BTW – I’ve been meaning to tell you how your avatar makes me smile. Chocolate and purple combines two of my favorite things:)

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen!
    i’m glad you like my avatar. the dark chocolate hershey’s kiss is one of my favs. =)

    [Reply]

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet
    15 April 2010, 8:48 pm

    Awesome! It really is all about trust and mindfulness. We can have those intentional small splurges or even *Ooops! * moments and easily shift ourselves back to plan, if we’ll just trust ourselves to do it.
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet┬┤s last blog ..Duped, But Wiser For It =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, cammy. i’m still not exactly sure how the trust and confidence in myself finally grew to be there, but it does feel good to finally have it.

    [Reply]

  3. Tricia
    15 April 2010, 9:19 pm

    sounds like you’re doing great!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks! and thanks for stopping by, tricia!

    [Reply]

  4. Diana
    15 April 2010, 10:11 pm

    I’m so gald that this is working out for you! Oh, to be normal. Isn’t that every ED’s dream! You’re an inspiration ­čÖé

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, diane! *deep breath* so far, so good!

    [Reply]

  5. Julie - Big Girl Bombshell
    15 April 2010, 11:10 pm

    Love your question. Yes, I have changed my thoughts and it ended up changing my life. A couple were unplanned circumstances but the 360 degree change was exactly what I needed at the time. That is part of life I think ever evolving……
    .-= Julie – Big Girl Bombshell┬┤s last blog ..Fear of Feeling =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    julie, that is so great! and yes, it is ever evolving as long as we are open to it.

    [Reply]

  6. Mircea
    16 April 2010, 2:31 am

    It sounds great. One thing though: to be able to eat like this you must have a certain background [which I am sure you have been working on building for a while now] / be educated – nutrition-wise. That the reason people are measuring their food, reading labels, preparing ahead, etc. It’s not that anyone enjoys the overhead, it’s just that until you get a solid foundation you need guidance and rules to get you started.
    Another dangerous thing that could happen is that without a feedback look (regular weigh ins, body measurements) either the size of the meals or the quality of the meals might take you by surprise.
    .-= Mircea┬┤s last blog ..Mail Labels =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    great points, mircea! you are right, i have been nutrition conscious for quite some time now, so i do feel pretty educated.

    i do plan to get on the scale monthly just to check in. i hope to mainly use my clothing as my barometer, but that monthly check-in will be good for me. i do not want to get too complacent.

    [Reply]

  7. Miz
    16 April 2010, 5:46 am

    wow. what stuck in my mind after reading this a couple of times is what you said about it being amazing to go out and eat and not write it down.
    it all ties into my own wondernessment about foodie bloggers.
    I dont get em.
    isnt it…binding (if the above is freeing) to have to snap photos of everything before it goes in mouth?
    disordered?
    .-= Miz┬┤s last blog ..Five on a Friday. =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    that’s a great question. i honestly don’t know how they take pix of everything before (and sometimes after!) they eat. i would think it would be binding (and time consuming) too, but i guess they feel it’s important for their blog to show the food.
    thanks for popping by, carla!

    [Reply]

    Rita Reply:

    I don’t understand this but coming from an ED perspective, for me it’s like food porn and well I am trying as hard as I can to get to a point that’s it’s just food and not an obsession. I think it really depends on the motivation behind it.
    .-= Rita┬┤s last blog ..Living Deliberately =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it is a little bit like food porn from an ed perspective. but to people who create/bake/cook as their blog it does make sense to show their creations. i think other people may do it as their form as accountability. to each his own, right?

  8. […] Intuitive Eating Update | Confessions of a (Recovering) Compulsive … By admin | category: eating | tags: are-only, daily, daily-struggles, eating, greater, […]

  9. Jody - Fit at 52
    16 April 2010, 8:48 am

    Sounds like you are doing so good & have the thought process down! Love to hear that you are so happy with your progress & you ARE feeling good about it!

    Picking up weights changed my life! ­čÖé
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52┬┤s last blog ..Friends, Fun, Laughter – Good for Your Health =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m trying, jody, gotta take it one day at a time, but it does feel good!
    picking up weights 18 months ago after an injury to my knee has been great for me too. clearly it has been awesome for you!

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa
    16 April 2010, 9:13 am

    That is awesome. I’m so glad that your are feeling free about it. My ultimate goal is still to eat intuitively with no crazy thoughts one day. At this point, I’m journaling what I eat and choosing whatever I want in moderation. I’m trying to listen to my body, but I had to not write down a number system for my hunger level. I found I was turning that into a “good” or “bad” thing. I can turn anything into a diet, so I’m taking it slow. I’m still so amazed that you only weigh once a month. It truly gives me hope. I didn’t not hop on Mr. Scale this morning even though he asked me to. One step closer to freedom ­čÖé
    .-= Lisa┬┤s last blog ..One day down… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    truly lisa, i have been weighing/measuring/calculating/weighing myself every day for so many years (even while bingeing) i would have never in a million years thought i could let it all go, but i somehow did.
    yes, do take it slow. rome was not built in a day. you are making great strides. the awareness you have is half the battle.

    [Reply]

  11. Laurie
    16 April 2010, 10:09 am

    Not eating the peanut butter by the spoonfull in the monring while i am making the kids toast…huge struggle. Most days I am strong enough to resist…but the days I am not, I am sure I pack in about 500 calories just by ‘licking the spoon’. If I didn’t worry and just went ahead and licked that spoon every morning (and I am being figurative, as this applies to all the the things I struggle to resist all day and night long) I would be in a different boat today (a much bigger boat!). I would be struggling over 100 pounds to lose, not 10. I envy your strength and ability to relax and yet, remain in control. You have come such a long way. I can’t wait until the day where food is simply my fuel, not my best friend and nemesis.
    .-= Laurie┬┤s last blog ..Thursday’s Report… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    laurie, i can totally relate as i have truly been where you are. it is definitely not easy and though i may have finally stepped to the other side and hope to remain there, i’m sure struggles lay ahead. i can only take it one day at a time and just try to enjoy the moment that i’m in.

    [Reply]

  12. Christie {Honoring Health}
    16 April 2010, 11:44 am

    I am glad you are doing so well!!

    Intuitive eating changed my life completely, all the way down to what I am not doing with my career!
    .-= Christie {Honoring Health}┬┤s last blog ..The Desire to Lose =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, christie! i hope the change is permanent for me and can be life altering for me as well.

    [Reply]

  13. Suzie
    16 April 2010, 1:30 pm

    I’m so happy for you! What a wonderful change
    .-= Suzie┬┤s last blog ..mistakes =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks so much, suzie! everyone is so wonderful with their support and i’m so grateful.

    [Reply]

  14. Rita
    16 April 2010, 2:39 pm

    Fantastic. I feel more free just reading that. Thank you for trusting yourself enough to do that. It has made a difference in my just watching you do this.
    .-= Rita┬┤s last blog ..Living Deliberately =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    my gosh, thanks, rita! i hope i don’t let you down!

    [Reply]

  15. Michelle@Eatingjourney
    16 April 2010, 8:48 pm

    Reading this is what I needed this morning. I know that if you’re doing this…that I can do this. I mean that in the most complimentary way. It’s SO nice to be able to read someone who is going through what I want to go through. You have made such HUGE steps…I am SO proud of you. Keep up the amazing work. The freedom with food is what I am craving and what I am going to keep working towards.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oh my gosh, absolutely! if i can do it, so can you and everyone else! it was a lot of hard work, therapy, OA, and support systems, but right now, it feels so worth it and it feels great to finally have the trust and confidence in myself in order to have taken this step.

    [Reply]

  16. Susan Leigh
    17 April 2010, 6:16 pm

    Thank you for your comments on my article ‘A little of what you fancy’. I find that food is such a crazy love/hate subject for so many people.Balance is the key, that, and learning to listen to our bodies. Find the hungry/ full switch again… Susan.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    that’s a great way to describe it – a love/hate relationship. balance is key and so hard to find sometimes.

    [Reply]

  17. Jess
    17 April 2010, 11:14 pm

    I appreciate that you’re blazing this trail because I have decided to do the research and see if it’s something I can do as a food plan some time in the future.

    I guess the first thing is training my eyes away from portion distortion and go from there.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m sure it’s something you can do in the future, jess. you have been working so hard at understanding your past and what is important to you. you are fully aware of emotional eating, which is so important in taking the step towards intuitive eating. personally, i still go with my eye towards portion size in place of the measuring i had been doing. now i will try to err on the smaller size portion, knowing that i can honor my hunger and eat later if i need to.

    [Reply]

  18. jamie edge
    18 April 2010, 10:34 pm

    just found you — and wow — what an amazing resource you have here. This is great!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m so glad you stopped by, jamie!

    [Reply]

  19. Lanine Bradley
    19 April 2010, 3:08 am

    I can only tell the difference between perceived and real hunger as to how I physically feel. I feel a little nauseated I know it’s real.
    .-= Lanine Bradley┬┤s last blog ..wednesday workout war stories =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s great that you can read your body’s signals like that, lanie! i think after all my years of compulsive overeating / bingeing that my signals are a bit screwed up.

    thanks for dropping by!

    [Reply]

  20. Biz
    19 April 2010, 4:00 pm

    I have no idea how to help you with that question – going to scroll through the other comments and see what everyone else thinks!

    [Reply]

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